Friday September 22, 2023

India commits faux pas: South Africa asks to take back 1m vaccine doses

February 17, 2021

ISLAMABAD: In a big embarrassment for India, the South African government has asked drug-maker Serum Institute of India (SII) to take back the one million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines, citing minimal protection against mild to moderate illness.

India has once again exposed playing with human lives, this time being reckless amid the highly sensitive situation of pandemic. South Africa suspended the use of the shot after preliminary studies suggested limited effectiveness against the more contagious local variant of the virus, media reported on Tuesday.

South Africa received from India one million doses of the license-made AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine last week and another 500,000 were set to arrive in the next few weeks. South Africa’s health minister previously noted that the vaccines which arrived from India have an expiry date in April and had asked SII to swap them out for doses with later expiry dates.

Last week, South Africa halted plans to roll out the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after a preliminary study suggested that the shot provides minimal protection against mild disease from the more contagious variant of the virus spreading in the country.